Pros: Classic looks, lots of spin and a soft feel. Cleveland offers a wide range of lofts (46-to-64 degrees), three distinct grinds and two different finishes (Tour Satin and Black Satin). A cavity-back version is also available.
Cons: Micro-milling between the grooves wears quickly. Stock swing weight of wedges with 54 degrees of loft or more is D6 — heavier than most golfers are used to.
Who they’re for: Anyone looking for versatile wedges that produce top-of-class spin.
For more than two decades now, Cleveland has been a leader in wedge design, and the 588 RTX 2.0 wedges are no exception. They’re some of the best-feeling, most consistent wedges on the market, and bring plenty of spin to the table.
The spin comes from Cleveland’s fourth generation “Tour Zip Grooves,” which are 8 percent deeper than previous models, and have sharper sidewalls for cleaner contact from various lies. They also use micro-milling — laser-milling between the grooves, and Rotex (RTX) milling on the face — to add more texture to the face for increased spin on shorter shots.
What will be more important for most golfers, however, are the wide variety of 588 RTX 2.0 models. They’re offered in even lofts of 46-64 degrees, and the new line has more grinds in the mid- and high-lofted models than previous lines.
Cleveland also made the fitting process more simplistic with the 588 2.0 RTX wedges. They use the company’s familiar 3-dot system, which allows golfers to fit bounce options to their swing characteristics and course conditions. The dot system pairs with Cleveland’s wedge analyzer powered by SwingByte, which helps golfers determine what loft/bounce they should use, factoring in typical playing conditions and swing characteristics.
Cleveland’s 3-dot system
- Low Bounce Grind (1 dot): Most versatility and heel/toe relief.
- Standard Bounce Grind (2 dots): Moderate versatility and heel/toe relief.
- Full (3 dots): The least amount of versatility and heel/toe relief in this line.
Cleveland’s 588 RTX 2.0 wedges ($129.99) are available in two finishes — Tour Satin and Black Satin — as well as a cavity-back (CB) model that has a Black Satin finish. They come stock with a True Temper’s Dynamic Gold steel wedge shaft, or a 90-gram High Performance Rotex graphite shaft. Custom shaft offerings are available for an upcharge, and all clubs are available in right-and left-handed options.
If you’re into customization, Cleveland’s new MyCustomWedge website allows golfers to personalize the new wedges with paint fills, logos, finishes and skins. The Custom Wedge line also features additional grinds to the RTX 2.0 offerings.
Cleveland’s Rotex 2.0 wedges are a bit larger than many models on the market, which make them impressively forgiving on off-center strikes. They also have tremendous stopping power from various lies, thanks to their improved grooves and fully milled faces.
They look clean and sophisticated with their black, white, and gold color scheme. They’re what we call “heavy duty,” however, with relatively thick top lines and plenty of head weight — the swing weight is D6 for wedges 54 degrees and up. The extra head weight is great for gear heads who like to try their hand at grinding their own wedges, as well as for golfers who like a heavier feel or tend to play their wedges a bit shorter, which decreases swing weight.
Micro-milling between the grooves and the Rotex face design really grab the ball at impact, imparting as much spin as we’ve seen from any other (legal) wedge on the market. They’re great for golfers who like to hit low, spinning wedge shots and want to add more stopping power from the rough.
With a little extra sole width and bounce, I found the 3-dot 60-degree wedge to be a top-performer for delicate flop shots with an open face and shots from the bunker. If you’re a true digger, or you’re looking for more consistency around the greens on courses with soft conditions, you’re probably a 3-dot candidate. Golfers who play firmer courses or have shallower angles of attack will want to test the 1-dot and 2-dot models.
If you play courses with varying conditions, the 2-dot model is the safest bet. It will allow accomplished players to hit flop shots off even the tightest lies, but the grind still has enough bounce to keep the wedge from digging — even in soft conditions.
Cleveland is one of the few companies to offer wedges with lofts as high as 62- and 64-degrees, which for the right golfers — highly skilled wedge players who play firm, fast golf courses — will be quite handy. I enjoy using the 64-degree model around the greens and think it works quite well with the 2-dot grind, but again, it and the 62-degree are best suited for scratch or better players, or those who have room in their bag for a highly specialized wedge.
More useful for most golfers will be Cleveland’s 46-, 48- and 50-degree models, which act as gap wedges for stronger-lofted iron sets or more versatile pitching wedge replacements that are popular with golfers willing to invest more time in their short games. I think it’s money well spent.